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Author: Elyse Mark 麥麗施

Elyse Mark 麥麗施
Elyse Mark is a visiting fellow at the East West Center in Washington, researching US-Japan global health cooperation. She is a 2018 graduate of the International Master's Program in International Studies at National Chengchi University, and a 2016 alumna of Penn State University where she earned BAs in English and Chinese from the Schreyer Honors College.  

Can Health Insurance Boost Fertility? The Fertility Effect of National Health Insurance in Taiwan

    When I arrived in Taipei two years ago, I knew relatively little about local Taiwanese culture or issues. With an undergraduate background in English and Chinese, most of my academic knowledge was limited to English literature and the politics of mainland China. I was drawn to Taiwan by its reputation for vibrant democracy, encouraged by professors and friends alike who raved about Taiwan’s open educational environment, remarkable food scene, and multicultural colonial history. Through the generosity of Fulbright and the Taiwanese government, over the past two years my understanding of this island has changed and grown, along with my research interests at National Chengchi University.      When I first came to NCCU, I intended to study global climate change policy. But after two years of living in Taipei and engaging with local community through volunteer opportunities at local shelters, language exchanges with classmates, and more, I’ve chosen a thesis topic closer to (my new) home: Taiwanese fertility. Low fertility is one of many demographic trends affecting Taiwan, and an issue that will only grow in social, economic, and political importance in the years to come. Since I moved to Taiwan in 2016, the political landscape of the

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Unpacking U.S. Aid in Taiwan: Developmental Perspectives

     For development scholars, few postwar success stories are more fascinating than that of the four Asian Tigers in the twentieth century. Due to its political isolation, many authors have attributed Taiwan’s miraculous economic growth to long-term stimulus from U.S. aid packages in the post-WWII period. International relations (IR) scholars have historically neglected development studies, preferring to focus on the state-centric power dynamics of the overall international system rather than developing nations of the global “periphery.” IR theorists often view the global system in terms of national interest, balance of power, material capacity, and institutionalism; these levels of analysis frame cooperation (e.g. development assistance) as either a self-interested means to bolster state security or a selfless effort to affect positive change. Beginning in the postwar period, classic development theories emerged that sought to explain how underdeveloped nations might join the industrialized world, a question that contemporary scholars continue to examine today. This piece examines the mechanisms underlying Taiwanese development from a variety of theoretical perspectives developed in the second half of the twentieth century.      Modernization theory suggests any country can achieve highly developed status as long as it follows in the footsteps of the industrialized North, and

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